Sony’s HX80 is the smallest camera you can buy with 30x zoom, viewfinder

Last year Sony introduced a compact camera, the HX90V, which it claims to be the smallest you can buy with a 30x optical zoom lens. Now, it seems Sony has beaten its own record with the new HX80 (Cyber-shot DSC-HX80), which now owns that distinction.

Record boasting aside, from a specs standpoint, it feels like déjà vu: Every feature in the HX80 seems to have been taken directly from the HX90V, including camera design. It has the same 18.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor, long 30x optical zoom Zeiss lens, retractable OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF), 180-degree 3-inch LCD (921K dots), pop-up flash, Wi-Fi/NFC, and Full HD movie recording at 60p with support for 50Mbps bitrate (when using XAVC S format). Two features the HX80 doesn’t carry over are GPS and the control ring around the lens.

The camera will be available for $350, in April. It’s less expensive than the HX90V’s launch price of $430, and we aren’t sure if it will replace the HX90V in the lineup, or if the HX90V will remain as the “GPS option.” The HX80’s price also puts it close to the WX500, a similar camera but without the EVF, GPS, and front grip; the HX80 would be a better buy if the WX500 remains at its $330 price point.

In related news, at the WPPI 2016, a professional tradeshow dedicated to the wedding and portrait photography industries, Sony announced it is developing a wireless lighting control system. Designed for professional photographers who use Sony’s Alpha interchangeable lens cameras and external flashes, the system would consist of a wireless radio commander (FA-WRC1M) and wireless radio receiver (FA-WRR1). With a 98-foot range, the system is capable of controlling 15 flash units in up to five groups of flashes, and offers exposure control and flash sync speeds of up to 1/250th of a second. The system will hit dealers this summer, with pricing details to come.

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